San Francisco 49ers: Five Niners' Destined for Pro Bowl Berth
At 6-2-1, the San Francisco 49ers have all but locked up the NFC West. Wait, that doesn't sound right.
Let's rewind that a bit. The 49ers are still at the forefront of the toughest division in football, but yes folks, a tie just happened.
Look, a tie is better than a loss. Can this have serious playoff implications down the line? Of course, especially with Seattle still in the rear view mirror. However, the Niners don't have time to sulk.
The mighty Chicago Bears visit Candlestick Park on Monday Night Football in what many will consider the game of the week.
Moving on to more positive news, with the Pro Bowl ballot officially up and running, the 49ers may need to start packing early.
After sending eight players to the 2011 roster, we could see even more Niners inhabiting the 2012 Pro Bowl.
With that, here are the Niners likely packing their bags for Hawaii.
Patrick Willis/NaVorro Bowman (ILB)
Cheating here a bit (get used to it), but can you blame me? The 49ers possess two of the best inside linebackers in the NFL.
Both guys play with vigor, intensity, and nastiness. Both guys can tackle and lay the wood. Both guys can even cover at an All-Pro level. What can't they do?
Though, don't be surprised if Washington ends up on the All-Pro list alongside Patrick Willis.
Justin Smith (DE/DT)
Smith is a near lock, as his 2011 performance truly put his play on the map.
The 49ers run defense hasn't been as stout as fans have come to expect, but this defensive line unit still tops any group in the league when you consider overall balance.
It also doesn't hurt that Smith is listed as a DT on the Pro Bowl ballot, which should make it easier for voters who like the more flashier players.
Dashon Goldson (FS)
Goldson has very well earned himself a long term contract with the 49ers after his early success this season.
A 2011 Pro Bowl addition, Goldson has turned into a top five safety in this league.
His unique blend of athleticism, speed, and strength has turned Goldson into the face of this 49ers secondary, which currently ranked first against the pass coming into Week 11.
Goldson should get in easily.
Joe Staley/Anthony Davis/Mike Iupati/Alex Boone
The MVP of this 49ers team thus far has to be the offensive line. Again, I am cheating here, but can you blame me?
The 49ers could very well send four offensive lineman to the Pro Bowl this year, with the exception of center Jonathan Goodwin.
Alex Boone and Anthony Davis will be mainstays on this 49ers offensive line for the next seven years.
In addition, Staley has turned into a legit top five tackle, while left guard Mike Iupati has looked like the best guard in football.
What a turnaround for a unit many considered to be a weak-point heading into the 2012 season.
Aldon Smith (OLB)
Heading into Week 11, Smith ranks eighth in the league with 7.5 sacks recorded.
After a magical rookie season, Smith has continued to shine as the 49ers designated pass rusher. His coverage skills continue to develop slowly, however Smith has more than made up for his deficiencies in the pass rush department.
DeMarcus Ware will likely be the other starter at OLB for the NFC.
Frank Gore (RB)
Bruce Miller (FB)
Andy Lee (P)
Ray McDonald (DE)